There have been several instances of formerly thriving careers that turned sour as a result of numerous accusations and court cases; Bill O’Reilly is a typical example of celebrities in this category. He is a known author, a veteran journalist and a former TV host who worked his way through the 1970s and 80s reporting for local TV stations in the US and later for the likes of ABC News and CBS News. Bill was the host of Inside Edition – the tabloid television program from 1989 to 1995. 1996 saw him joining Fox News Channel where he anchored The O’Reilly Factor until 2017, the show made the records for 16 years as the highest-rated cable news show. At the time of the famed TV host’s departure, Howard Kurtz – a media analyst described him as the biggest star in the 20-year history of Fox News. Bill anchored The Radio Factor between 2002 and 2009.
However, Bill O’Reilly’s blooming career took a nosedive after investigations by the New York Times revealed that the popular media personality has been engaged in secret sexual harassment settlements in which he has dished out a whopping $50 million to six women. This article x-rays Bill’s experience with those allegations, what happened to him after the settlements and what he is currently doing after his exit from Fox.
What Happened to Bill O’Reilly
It all started in 2004 when a sexual harassment allegation was brought against Bill O’Reilly by one of his show’s associate producers Andrea Mackris. According to Mackris, the journalist called her on phone, making some sexually explicit comments in which he expressed his fantasies to her, advising her to make use of a vibrator. Reports from the New York Times stated that Bill acquiesced to settle the case by paying Mackris any amount between $2 million and $10 million. On his part, the TV host was quick to come up with a denial, admitting that he put his family’s best interest first and did what he had to do in settlement of the matter.
According to a 2017 report by the New York Times, Mackris was not Bill’s only victim, he had already settled four other ladies for allegations relating to sexual harassment as well as other indecent behaviors. A lady who was believed to have either worked for the journalist or made an appearance on his program cited a pattern of unwanted advances, verbal abuse, and vulgar comments and also phone calls.
Following the news, sponsors were quick to respond by pulling out their adverts from The O’Reilly Factor within a few days, and Bill O’Reilly ran the risk of facing disciplinary measures from 21st Century Fox the parent company. The 19th of April 2017 heralded the announcement that Fox News has finally dropped Bill from the network. Thus he came to the end of his 20 years journey with the network.
What is He Doing Now?
In the aftermath of Bill O’reilly’s exit from his prestigious gig, he sought to regain his footing as one of the major conservative voices via different channels. The media personality resurfaced on other programs as a guest and in August 2017, the embattled journalist leveraged on his website to launch the No Spin News show. His famous book series was still going strong with his latest release coming in September that year
October 2017 saw the notorious television host returning to the headlines with details of an earlier unrevealed settlement. According to reports from the New York Times, after Bill O’Reilly paid out the sum of $13 million to several women in settlement of sexual harassment allegations, he still paid out another $32 million to settle Lis Wiehl – the former legal analyst for Fox News. In addition, Times exposed the fact that Fox was privy to this settlement before it went ahead to offer Bill a new contract, exposing the media outfit to criticisms for their failure in addressing the matter earlier.
Another woman whom Bill O’Reilly had settled over harassment allegations in 2002 came up with a new set of allegations on the 4th of December, suing both Bill and Fox for breach of contract as well as defamation. According to the woman whose name is Rachel Witlieb Bernstein, the former Fox presenter dishonored the nondisclosure conditions of their settlement, when he went offensive against all his accusers following his firing, which portrayed her as an extortionist and a phony. Before the year ran out, two other women Mackris and Rebecca Gomez Diamond – ex-Fox New employees came to join the suit. As a result, the former TV host is still neck-deep in cases of sexual harassment.